BENTONVILLE, Ark. --
Wal-Mart Stores here announced its barometer of consumer attitudes and shopping behaviors yesterday, called the Live Better Index. The first focus of its ongoing study will be five ecologically friendly products: compact fluorescent lightbulbs, organic milk, concentrated/reduced-packaging liquid laundry detergent, extended-life paper products and organic baby food. These items were selected because consumers can make a conscious decision to purchase them for their environmental and/or cost-saving benefits vs. conventional versions, according to Wal-Mart. The retailer will track and monitor national and regional purchasing habits over time. The barometer‘s earliest results indicate that New Hampshire has the highest average adoption rate of Live Better Index products at more than 20%. The index also provides information about consumer attitudes. Sixty-two percent of Americans said they would buy more eco-friendly products if there were not a price difference. “Wal-Mart is uniquely positioned to be a barometer for America because of its scale, store locations and affordable prices,” said Stephen Quinn, Wal-Mart‘s chief marketing officer, in a statement. “The Live Better Index allows us to keep a pulse on what‘s important to our customers so we can continue to bring them unbeatable value on the products they want.” Annually, Wal-Mart has 180 million shoppers and nearly 90% of American households shop its stores, according to the retailer.